Public Health

There is widespread and growing acceptance of health education as a "most humane" and "most economical" means to health. While medical science has developed a fantastic array of preventive, therapeutic, and rehabilitative facilities and methods, human health continues to depend largely on translating knowledge into individual behavior and lifestyles.

Education designed to encourage appropriate health behaviors can effectively prevent much suffering and disability. Waste in human, economic and medical resources can also be reduced.

The major purpose of community health education is to design, test, promote, and implement intervention programs which result in health-positive behaviors among individuals, families, and groups in a community. Education designed to encourage appropriate health behaviors can effectively prevent much suffering and disability. Waste in human, economic and medical resources can also be reduced.

The Public Health major educates students to develop, implement, and assess health education programs in a variety of settings for different target groups.

Students who are most successful in the health science major are deeply interested in health and in the life sciences and behavioral sciences. They are able to read, understand, and make use of literature in these fields. They are imaginative and creative in applying scientific knowledge to strategies for change through education. They are capable of taking initiative and working hard both independently and as team members.

Program Overview

The Public Health program is strongly interdisciplinary in nature. Preparatory coursework for the major includes health courses taken from the community health education area. Other subjects taken will be in nutrition, psychology, sociology, communication, anatomy, chemistry, and microbiology. The upper-division curriculum requires courses in community health education, biology, educational technology, and social work.

Special Features

  • Field Experience - The unique features of the public health major include field placement opportunities available in over 40 health-related agencies. Special courses, such as Community Health Education 596, Workshop in Health Education, use selected problems in health science as a basis for workshop experience. Special study courses and courses in experimental topics are included in the major.
  • Student Associations - The department has an active Student Majors club that participates in activities that are academic, service-oriented, and social. There is also an active chapter of Eta Sigma Gamma, the National Health Education Honorary. Majors are encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities to develop new competencies and professional contacts.

Career Opportunities

Although career opportunities in community health education are variable from year to year and place to place, the long-range predictions of demand for health education professionals are favorable. Types of positions available to community health education graduates include positions in governmental agencies, voluntary health agencies, private corporations, hospitals, and schools. Health professionals in any of these settings might be involved in such projects as educating the community about current health issues and the latest advances in the medical field. Positions might also be available with various health-related organizations as public information officers. International health work opportunities are available in a variety of government and private organizations.

Graduate study in Public Health is strongly recommended for students interested in long-term employment at more advanced levels.

Career opportunities in the health science profession are particularly good for ethnic, bilingual and bicultural persons. Willingness to move to other geographic areas will improve chances for employment.

To further explore career options in this field, visit the Career Services Web site for more information.

General Catalog

You can view more complete information regarding the Public Health program in the General Catalog. All students are responsible for reading and knowing the information pertinent to their areas of study available in the General Catalog. It contains requirements for all academic majors, course descriptions, policies, and regulations governing progress at the university. Catalogs are distributed at all New Student Orientation programs. To order a General Catalog, call (619) 594-7535.